The internship series

What Students Want Out of Internships

Check out what real students look for in their internships, from fair compensation to positive career growth options.

Internships will all vary based on the major, career path, and desires of the student. A computer science major’s internship will look fairly different than someone studying creative writing. However, students have made it clear that there are certain qualities in internships that they need, no matter the role.

Supportive mentorship and peers

More than half of students find that mentorship is highly important when having an internship. To build a bigger network and to advance in your career, you’ll need industry professionals to help you learn and to vouch for you when the time for a reference comes. Students value the relationships that they make outside of class and in the working world. 

Whether it be a manager or another employee, having that solid point of contact can aid in building a lasting career foundation. Students want someone on their side who will show them the ropes and encourage them to succeed.

Access to company resources

Many students noted that having resources like training programs or workshops to build additional skills was something they valued in an internship. Not only can it help boost their confidence, but students can learn skills applicable to their internship and explore different avenues of their career paths.

Compensation

A majority of students are looking for fair compensation at their internships. Many students have financial needs to take care of and other obligations that take up their time. Internships can be as time consuming as real jobs and many students are looking for internships that offer more than college credit. A salary or fair compensation is very important to internships today.

Opportunity to showcase work

After students spend a semester or a year putting in work at their internship, many of them want a chance to showcase their work. Holding a space for students to present and be proud of their work can foster a sense of leadership and accountability. It’s also a great way for them to show their company the impact that they’ve had and why they would be a great addition to the team.

Job security

And one of the most important factors that students think about when searching for an internship is whether or not their role could turn into a job. Job security and career growth is extremely important for students, especially those on the verge of graduation. It not only gives them stability, but allows them to develop in their roles and ultimately in their careers. 

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